4 minute read

10 Heartfelt, Clever, and Funny Obituary Ideas

Need some inspiration for writing a memorable obituary? Here are 10 ideas to add some humor and lightness to your obituary.

When it comes to having the last word, writing a unique, funny obituary is the gold standard. If you have a fine sense of humor, and someone you care about has recently passed, check out the perfect way to honor them - there’s no better way than with an incredible obituary. 

Make readers laugh through their sorrow, and ease the pain of loss for those you love, with words like some of the funny obituary examples we’ll explore here. You may want to consider something similar if you’re hoping to leave a lasting impression readers can take comfort in. Feel free to take notes and get inspired by these 10 ideas for lighter, truly unique final messages.

1. Favorite Movie References

Was the recently departed a movie buff? Why not reference one or two of their favorite movies in your final words? Some pretty obvious flicks come to mind - “Gone with the Wind” would make an interesting reference (especially if there’s to be a cremation). Another example - for those with a more deprecating sense of humor - can be found in this unique obituary that simply opens with:

"Ding dong the witch is dead..." -  thus begins the obit of Johanna R. Scarpitti. 

Of course the headline is a reference to the woman’s favorite movie, “The Wizard of Oz.” Unfortunately, that wasn’t particularly well-explained in the obituary. But for those who knew her best, it was likely a dramatically light-hearted way to say a fond goodbye. 

2. Obituary Poem

Poetry can express a variety of sentiments. Love, sadness, reverence and humor can all be easily found in both well-known - and some of the more obscure - pieces of prose out there. Using a limerick or other short form of poetry can leave friends and family with something uplifting and lively to remember their loved one by.

Among other funny obituary examples we found, we loved this cute and funny limerick describing a deceased trickster’s final prank.

“That he planned his funeral is factual

And being a prankster quite actual

He prerecorded his voice

So, when we kneeled on the joist

He said, "Hi there! Don't I look natural.”

By: Judith Angell Meyer

3. Obituary to a Popular Song

There are plenty of song titles that are completely inappropriate, although potentially hilarious, that can be used in an obituary. For example, rock band Queen’s “Another One Bites the Dust” or “Roll Me Up and Smoke Me When I Die” by Willie Nelson are two options that will definitely make an impression...even if they don't scream honor and respect...but maybe that’s the point?

Can’t find that perfect song? For those with a lyrical mind and creative side, take a stab at penning your own lyrics. Why not write an original song about a loved one’s life to the beat of a favorite tune or in the style of a specific artist? If you aren’t great at rhyming, you can make it a group effort. Work together to try and come up with something funny and distinctive while reminiscing about your recently deceased loved one.

4. Self-Written Obituary

Benjamin Franklin famously wrote a self-obituary in which he referred to himself as “food for worms.” Writing your own funny obituary ahead of time can help your loved ones deal with their grief. Use the opportunity to remind everyone of the fun, full life you lived.

If you have a unique hobby, personality quirk or interesting life, why not celebrate it with a little self-deprecation and humor? Nervous about this option? You can always ask a family member or friend to read it over to ensure that your use of humor will land well when the time comes. It’s always a good idea to make sure what you think will be a hit is, well, funny. After all, there won’t be any opportunities for a re-do.

5. Exaggerated Obituary

Have you ever wanted to be married to a famous celebrity? Thought about dying doing something heroic involving superpowers? Well, who says you have to give up that dream? A quirky obituary can even exaggerate your cause of death - did you dream of climbing Kilimanjaro in your socks? Ever joked about losing a fight to an evil alter ego? Give readers a reason to smile, even in their darkest hours, as they grapple with how to deal with your loss. 

Even if you’re already the hero in your family, wouldn't it be fun to pass away as a legend in your own mind? Aaron Purmort died after fighting a brain tumor for three years, but his self-written obit “revealed” his true identity as Spider-Man. He even left touching instructions for his young son to avenge his death by defeating Cancer, the ultimate super villain.

6. Obituary for a Die Hard Sports Fan

Die-hard sports fans often have their favorite teams listed in their obits. Lighten up an obituary with fun references about “taking one for the team,” or encouraging others to “celebrate his life with a beer at the next Yankees game.”

To take it another direction, references to a demotivating losing streak can also make for a funny obituary. Such was the case in the obit for this now fairly-famous Seattle Seahawks fan. You can also visualize your loved one sitting on the sidelines or throwing the ball to deceased sports heroes.

7. “Favorite Quote” Obituary

As Jerry Seinfeld famously once remarked: "According to most studies, people’s number one fear is public speaking. Number two is death." 

If the deceased had a favorite quote that became their motto, you can use it to lighten their obituary. Jokes, song lyrics and poems are also great material for a unique obituary that aptly honors a friend or loved one. 

Additionally, taking personal quotes and turning them into a funny story can make any obituary more memorable. Ask friends and family to share their favorite quote by those who’ve departed, and work them into the obit for a more personal, yet still funny approach. We’ll leave it up to you to decide if you’ll insert these quotes with or without context. 

8. “Favorite Memory” Obituary

We all have our fair share of both good and bad qualities. Sharing a favorite positive - or even the occasional slightly-twisted - memory (even if you end up making one up), you can make life bigger than death in a hilarious fashion. Take this comical obit for example.

“Chris Connors died, at age 67, after trying to box his bikini-clad hospice nurse just moments earlier. Ladies man, game slayer, and outlaw, Connors told his last inappropriate joke on Friday, December 9, 2016, that which cannot be printed here.”

9. Superhero Obituary

Whether the deceased is a superhero to his or her family, or they just loved the Avengers, including superhero references is a great way to create a funny and unique obituary. If you’re not a Marvel or DC Comics nerd, you get extra points for researching and mentioning those really obscure evil villains (shout out to anyone who knows the psychotic wrestler-turned-faux-grizzly-bear, AKA The Grizzly).

Superman fans who finally succumbed to kryptonite can easily be honored humorously. Likewise, revealing that your 90-year-old Nana was actually Wonder Woman, or that your Uncle Edgar was the real Captain America can add an interesting element to an obit that everyone will get a little kick out of. For those who were truly unique themselves, writing original, different, Superhero-themed obituaries is something that loved ones will surely remember.

10. “Roast” Obituary

William Ziegler’s children roasted him after his death with an obit so funny, it ended up going viral. Ziegler’s children included that the cause of death was the funny man they called dad died to get out of making a decision in the contentious 2016 presidential election. In another example, daughters roasted their jokester dad by reminding readers that dear old dad named his first dog Fart in this epic funny obituary.

We’re all sad when we lose a loved one, especially when that loss means no longer seeing or hearing the funny antics and sometimes-shocking words our dearly departed became known for throughout their life. There’s no better way to honor a loved one than by giving one last nod at an iconic sense of humor. What could be more appropriate than leaving a lasting, funny obituary?  

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